The senior men’s team of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) have begun preparations for their quest to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup with two international friendly matches against Canada.
With the games scheduled for January 7 and 10, set to be played at the Championship Soccer Stadium, San Diego, California, these will set the pace for the local boys, heading into the Gold Cup Qualifiers with their campaign set to kick off in March when they face Guyana’s Golden Jaguars.
Last year, Barbados posted an international record of four wins and two losses, along with their League B qualification in the Concacaf Nations League and a shot at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, after topping Group A in League C of the Nations League. And while they finished on 12 points, the same as the Cayman Islands, the Tridents advanced on goal difference.
In September, they played to a 4-0 victory over (French) Saint Martin at home and were edged out 2-3 by Cayman Islands at their Truman Bodden Sports Complex home ground. However, they redeemed themselves to overtake the latter and land at the top of the group when they overcame the US Virgin Islands 5-0 (on aggregate) playing their first game back at home last October and the return game at the Bethlehem Soccer Complex, St Croix, three days later.
They went on to be defeated by Saint Martin 1-0 at the Raymond E. Guishard Technical Centre in Anguilla last November, but came back victorious to capture the group with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Cayman Islands in front of a home crowd to end their promotion campaign.
The last time the Bajan Tridents faced Canada was in January 2004 which ended 1-0 in favor of the visitors at the National Stadium, following a first-half goal courtesy Carlo Corrazzin in the tenth minute, bringing an end to their three-year record of home victories. At the time the team was led by Kenville Layne and captained by John Parris.
While the local boys will not feature any of their international players, there are some changes where utility man Raheim Sargeant and his Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme teammate Renaldo Trim will not feature in this outing. However, St Andrew Lions’ Shamar “Buju” Edwards has been called up after an impressive showing last year in the inaugural BFA’s Capelli SuperCup Championship.
Meanwhile, Canada’s camp will feature a squad of players attached to professional clubs both in Canada and the USA, alongside a number of young players currently playing in Europe.
Head Coach of the North American team John Herdman in an earlier interview said this was a great way for them to start the year.
“It is an opportunity to work with 26 players, including players who are new to the Men’s National Team or have been on our radar in 2019. Outside of the FIFA window, it is a difficult period to assemble players due to club and off-season commitments, but this gives us the opportunity to introduce young players who we have monitored throughout 2019 and have continued to impress at the club or international level,” he said.
Last October, Canada recorded a historic victory over USA for the first time in 34 years. They also recorded six wins out of nine games played in their Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup action.
The team departs on Sunday and all matches kick-off at 7:p.m. Barbados time.
SQUAD: Kishmar Primus, Ricardio Morris, Zico Phillips, Rashad Smith, Jomo Harris, Omani Leacock, Mario Williams, Hadan Holligan, Nicoli Brathwaite, Shamar Edwards, Ackeel Applewhaite, Akeem Hill, Liam Brathwaite, Armando Lashley, T-Shane Lorde, Carl Hinkson, Rico Graham and Rashad Jules.
OFFICIALS: Russell Latapy, Fitzgerald Carter, Richard Bynoe, Ryan Brewster, Martin Newton, Orlando Mapp and Nicola Yard.